Administrative Arrests of Eritrean Citizens
On September 2, 2023, unusual clashes occurred in Tel Aviv between supporters of the Eritrean regime and opponents of the regime. Following these events, the Israeli police arrested over 50 Eritrean citizens, but in most of these cases, they couldn't establish sufficient evidence connecting the detainees to violent acts, making it impossible to extend their detention. Instead, the state transferred them to an administrative detention track, and they were moved to the Givon prison. The transfer of detainees to administrative detention was intended to continue restricting their freedom without the need for minimal evidentiary justification. This was explicitly stated by the Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben Gvir, who approved that the detainees were transferred to administrative detention "following the assessment that the courts would release many of the detainees."
On September 7, 2023, together with partnered organizations, we appealed (Hebrew) to the Attorney General to immediately release the Eritrean citizens who had been arrested. We claimed that the use of administrative detention under these circumstances constitutes a severe and grave violation of human rights protected under Israeli law and international law. We emphasized that Eritrean citizens living in Israel, most of whom have been in the country for at least a decade, reside in Israel legally and are under group protection due to the systematic and widespread violations of human rights in Eritrea. Moreover, a majority of the Eritrean community in Israel have submitted requests for political asylum. If there is a factual basis against any of the suspects, the investigation should be conducted in the criminal justice system rather than using administrative detention.
Partnered organizations in the appeal: The Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Physicians for Human Rights, ASSAF - Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel, the African Refugee Development Center, and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel.